I’m not supposed to do this.
It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting at my desk, Scrivener open on a blank page. The notes I made for the first few chapters of my novel lie scattered all around me, ready to find their place on the page, like pieces of a puzzle eager to reveal the complete picture.
My mind is blank. I know what story I need to write, know the characters like the back of my hands… but the words aren’t coming.
I start typing something, then delete it, go back to my notes and try again… Over and over for 20 long minutes. Then, it happens.
I pick up my phone and start checking my notifications. Before I know it, I fall into the Facebook black hole. An hour goes by as I like my friend’s holiday pictures, lol at cat videos and join the conversation in a few groups.
The page is still blank.
Resistance 1 – Giorgia 0
I lost the battle, but I won’t lose the war. Cos know I know that resistance is an inevitable part of the creative process. You can defeat it.
This is just one of the lessons I’ve learned in The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. Here’s why you should check out the book too if you want to win the war against your resistance and finally get started on your dreams:
2. Show Up And Do The Work – Every Day
“Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” – Steven Pressfield.
So how do you beat resistance? You show up and do the work – every day.
You don’t sit down to write when inspiration strikes you. You don’t start your business when you’ll have enough savings in the bank. You don’t wait around for the stars to align before you give your dreams a go.
You do it every single day, regardless of everything that stands in your way. You go all in. You schedule time every single day to work on it and then just do it.
And, yes, I know i said “every single day” a dozen times but it’s that important. I don’t sit down to write my book whenever I feel like it. I sit down every day at 6am sharp and work on it for three hours straight.
If I’m lucky, inspiration strikes me and I get in the flow. If I’m not, I struggle for 3 hours but, at the end of them, I usually have something written down. It may not be good, but it’s progress. Every day, I get a little closer to finishing my book.
It feels good.
1. Everyone Struggles With Resistance
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield
Resistance is everything that keeps you from pursuing your dreams. It’s the procrastination that keeps you spending hours on social media instead of doing the work, it’s the busy-ness masked as business, it’s the doubts in your head that tell you you’re not good enough…
Resistance will tell you and do everything to keep you from pursuing your calling, launching a new venture or even starting a new diet. Anything a little out of the ordinary, any attempt to improve yourself, scares the shit out of it.
So, it goes on the attack. It makes you feel like if you’re not writing that book, starting that coaching business or cutting your sugar intake it is because you’re not meant to, because you don’t have what it takes.
Resistance says the same thing to everyone. You won’t find a single person in this world who hasn’t had the same thoughts. Heck, even Henry Fonda was so scared, he threw up before every single performance – even after he became successful.
Everyone struggles with resistance. And everyone can beat it.
3. Do Your Work For The Love Of It, Not Fame Or Money
We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune, attention, or applause. – Steven Pressfield
I get it. As I writer, I want my books – and this blog – to reach as many people as possible. It’s terribly frustrating when that doesn’t happen.
What’s the point of struggling so much to create something if no one sees it, no one likes it?
The point is to do the work for its own sake. Doing something because you love it. Because you can’t not do it.
No one can guarantee your work will be a huge success and bring you fame and money. But does it matter? Would you really not rather do it?
Your job is not to get rich or famous. Your job is to fulfill your calling.
Are you in?
If you’re struggling with resistance, I highly recommend you read The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. I keep a copy on my desk for all those times when I get a writer’s block or I’m tempting to procrastinate. It always helps me to keep going.
Over to you, now. Where do you struggle with resistance and in what form it manifests? Share your thoughts in the comments below.